Sunday, May 16, 2010

The River and the Stone :: a love story

John and I are as different as the winding river and the steady stone skipping across her ripples. We are as odd as any couple could be. My heart thrives in nature, and in poetry and folk music, in photography and art museums. His is much more social than mine, He loves loud music and movies, he loves math and logic. He is at his best in the spotlight, and I am my best in the shadows. I do not shine, not the way he does.

I seldom share in any written way, about my marriage. I never want to sound as if we live an untouchable existance and I never want anyone to think that our love is anything less than deep. I find it hard to be honest about it. The commitment I made to my husband is special to me, and still complicated.

Loving your husband, well, it isn't like loving your children. It doesn't just happen and stay strong without effort, it has to be tended and cared for. It has to be worked at. I always thought that the vows I said, before God and my family and John would come naturally, that our love would be bigger than any trial we faced.

John and I fight. Sometimes it's just a silly disagreement that we settle before the days end, and sometimes it's some deep seeded hurt that lingers on for weeks. As you grow together you gain baggage. You uproot differences and have to face that you are headed in separate directions. Sometimes we reach common ground, sometimes we don't.

We've been tested by many things. But more than anything the whirlwind of job loss and a growing family.

John and I never had time as just us. We dated for a year before we married and we had Lydia 7 months later. He worked odd shifts and we struggled to have the energy to devote to eachother, then we moved, had Rooster, moved again, had Layla, John lost his job of 10 years, Layla got sick then he lost his job again, and we spent 8 long months on unemployement. It was a struggle to breathe, pay the bills, and just be. It was hard on us as a couple as well as the family, but within the chaos we always found a spot to come together and comfort eachother. Now, John has a job again... one that seems secure... the only trouble is that it's third shift and 6 days a week... and we really never see eachother. We don't get to do all the little things we took advantage of before. It's hard. I miss him and he misses me.

And yet, out of all that, here we are... together. I have prayed since the beginning, "Lord, put a hedge around our family, so that nothing would touch us. Keep us together, keep us moving together and loving each other. Help us find our way back to your path and to this life." I still pray that every night. No matter how hard we fight or how big we disagree. No matter how much either of us hurt we do belong together...and no matter how bad things seem, MY life is better for having him in it.

I said to him, not long ago, I know how lonely you are, because I am right here, feeling everything you are.

I have been mad and said things I shouldn't have... so has he... I have made promises I couldn't keep... so has he. I have gotten my feelings hurt unfounded, and so has he. But at the end of the day, when I think of him or look across the room at him I know that he gets me. That he wants me and that he really does love me.

John doesn't want me to be perfect. John doesn't want me to be some other-wordly combination of other women. He doesn't want me to be just like him. He just wants me to be his. And to love him, and no one else. To want him and to make the effort to see what he feels without having to say it.

And that's all I want...

I am the winding river... deep and easily broken at the surface, I go with the flow of life and carry with me all that touches me.
He is the stone, steadily skipping against the current. Strong and standing out.

And we are, in our moments of such great distinction, so perfectly fitted into the other. Coming together as we should, as we were designed.

We are ordained by something bigger than either of us and held together by time, love and prayer.

This man I married, works hard, everyday, to provide a life of our own, one that he is proud of and I am proud of. He happily gifts me film that I may ruin, to see the smile on my face when I open it. He sings "The Luckiest" into my ear as we dance in the hallway, him covered in dirty work lothes, and me, still in my pjs. He brings me roses for mother's day and saves the last diet dr pepper for me. He's the man that tried to struggle down raw meatloaf as I stood in our kitchen crying, and hugging me afterward. He is the man who lets me choose the music in the car and orders for me on dates. He is the one who pretends he's asleep till I threaten to tickle him. He is the one that understands my grief when we drive by that cemetery, and reminds me it's okay to feel. He is the man that gave me 3 children, 3 perfect children. He is so much more than his faults and so much more than than any difference in opinion we have, and I love him with all my heart. Forever.

I love you John
Today, Tomorrow and Always

and I am truly the most blessed


annie on May 16, 2010 at 5:06 PM said...

johnna, that was really precious and thank you for sharing this with everyone! I'm no where near marriage, still yet to have my first boyfriend, and I find it comforting (well, i dunno if comforting is the correct word..) but, I find it comforting for amazing women like you to share your life in little glimpses like these. And for you to admit that fights and loneliness occur, but still hold onto and share those 'romantics' too; well it does help younger women like myself along the bumpy road of life. :] I also SO look forward to you blogs :]

Laura on May 16, 2010 at 7:28 PM said...

Johanna, I am new to your blog, yet you have sucked me in faster than any other blog I've read before. Each post is raw and emotional and amazing, all at the same time. I don't know you or your husband, and yet I'm nearly at tears because of this beautiful post. I look at my husband who is laying next to me in the bed right now, and a lot of your beautiful words ring true for us too. We fought today, and we sat in silence for awhile. But now, we're just us, like we should be. Thank you for opening your life and your love to us - it touched me right into my heart. God bless your family!

Beth Simmons on May 16, 2010 at 7:51 PM said...

I knew you would write your feelings in a most beautiful and meaningful way, and you have. These are precious words. I know I've told you before but again, you have no idea how much you remind me of my early marriage. Thanks for your always honest sharing of your sweet heart ♥

Maggie Fortson on May 16, 2010 at 8:18 PM said...

Such a beautiful post. thank you for sharing :)

Andrew, Naomi, Madeline and Oliver on May 19, 2010 at 6:46 AM said...

Beautiful post! You really have a talent for writing.

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